Tag: IBM

Desperately Seeking ET: Fermi’s Paradox Turns 65 ~ Part 2

Excerpt from huffingtonpost.comIntroductionWhy is it so hard to find ET? After 50 years of searching, the SETI project has so far found nothing. In the latest development, on April 14, 2015 Penn State researchers announced that after searching through...

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IBM advances bring quantum computing closer to reality



ibm research jerry chow
 
Research scientist Jerry Chow performs a quantum computing experiment at IBM's Thomas J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, N.Y. Jon Simon/IBM


Excerpt from computerworld.com
By Sharon Gaudin

IBM scientists say they have made two critical advances in an industrywide effort to build a practical quantum computer, shaving years off the time expected to have a working system.

"This is critical," said Jay Gambetta, IBM's manager of theory of quantum computing. "The field has got a lot more competitive. You could say the [quantum computing] race is just starting to begin… This is a small step on the journey but it's an important one."

Gambetta told Computerworld that IBM's scientists have created a square quantum bit circuit design, which could be scaled to much larger dimensions. This new two-dimensional design also helped the researchers figure out a way to detect and measure errors.
Quantum computing is a fragile process and can be easily thrown off by vibrations, light and temperature variations. Computer scientists doubt they'll ever get the error rate down to that in a classical computer.


Because of the complexity and sensitivity of quantum computing, scientists need to be able to detect errors, figure out where and why they're happening and prevent them from recurring.

IBM says its advancement takes the first step in that process.
"It tells us what errors are happening," Gambetta said. "As you make the square [circuit design] bigger, you'll get more information so you can see where the error was and you can correct for it. We're showing now that we have the ability to detect, and we're working toward the next step, which would allow you to see where and why the problem is happening so you can stop it from happening."

Quantum computing is widely thought to be the next great step in the field of computing, potentially surpassing classical supercomputers in large-scale, complex calculations. 

Quantum computing would be used to cull big data, searching for patterns. It's hoped that these computers will take on questions that would lead to finding cures for cancer or discovering distant planets – jobs that might take today's supercomputers hundreds of years to calculate.

IBM's announcement is significant in the worlds of both computing and physics, where quantum theory first found a foothold.

Quantum computing, still a rather mysterious technology, combines both computing and quantum mechanics, which is one of the most complex, and baffling, areas of physics. This branch of physics evolved out of an effort to explain things that traditional physics is unable to.

With quantum mechanics, something can be in two states at the same time. It can be simultaneously positive and negative, which isn't possible in the world as we commonly know it. 

For instance, each bit, also known as a qubit, in a quantum machine can be a one and a zero at the same time. When a qubit is built, it can't be predicted whether it will be a one or a zero. A qubit has the possibility of being positive in one calculation and negative in another. Each qubit changes based on its interaction with other qubits.

Because of all of these possibilities, quantum computers don't work like classical computers, which are linear in their calculations. A classical computer performs one step and then another. A quantum machine can calculate all of the possibilities at one time, dramatically speeding up the calculation.

However, that speed will be irrelevant if users can't be sure that the calculations are accurate.

That's where IBM's advances come into play.

"This is absolutely key," said Jim Tully, an analyst with Gartner. "You do the computation but then you need to read the results and know they're accurate. If you can't do that, it's kind of meaningless. Without being able to detect errors, they have no way of knowing if the calculations have any validity."

If scientists can first detect and then correct these errors, it's a major step in the right direction to building a working quantum computing system capable of doing enormous calculations. 

"Quantum computing is a hard concept for most to understand, but it holds great promise," said Dan Olds, an analyst with The Gabriel Consulting Group. "If we can tame it, it can compute certain problems orders of magnitude more quickly than existing computers. The more organizations that are working on unlocking the potential of quantum computing, the better. It means that we'll see something real that much sooner."
However, there's still debate over whether a quantum computer already exists.

A year ago, D-Wave Systems Inc. announced that it had built a quantum system, and that NASA, Google and Lockheed Martin had been testing them.

Many in the computer and physics communities doubt that D-Wave has built a real quantum computer. Vern Brownell, CEO of the company, avows that they have.

"I think that quantum computing shows promise, but it's going to be quite a while before we see systems for sale," said Olds.
IBM's Gambetta declined to speculate on whether D-Wave has built a quantum computing but said the industry is still years away from building a viable quantum system.

"Quantum computing could be potentially transformative, enabling us to solve problems that are impossible or impractical to solve today," said Arvind Krishna, senior vice president and director of IBM Research, in a statement.

IBM's research was published in Wednesday's issue of the journal Nature Communications.

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Amazon, Google, IBM & Microsoft Want to Store Your Genome


Excerpt from  technologyreview.com


By Antonio Regalado

 For $25 a year, Google will keep a copy of any genome in the cloud.

Google is approaching hospitals and universities with a new pitch. Have genomes? Store them with us.

The search giant’s first product for the DNA age is Google Genomics, a cloud computing service that it launched last March but went mostly unnoticed amid a barrage of high profile R&D announcements from Google...

Google Genomics could prove more significant than any of these moonshots. Connecting and comparing genomes by the thousands, and soon by the millions, is what’s going to propel medical discoveries for the next decade. The question of who will store the data is already a point of growing competition between Amazon, Google, IBM, and Microsoft.

Google began work on Google Genomics 18 months ago, meeting with scientists and building an interface, or API, that lets them move DNA data into its server farms and do experiments there using the same database technology that indexes the Web and tracks billions of Internet users.

This flow of data is smaller than what is routinely handled by large Internet companies (over two months, Broad will produce the equivalent of what gets uploaded to YouTube in one day) but it exceeds anything biologists have dealt with. That’s now prompting a wide effort to store and access data at central locations, often commercial ones. The National Cancer Institute said last month that it would pay $19 million to move copies of the 2.6 petabyte Cancer Genome Atlas into the cloud. Copies of the data, from several thousand cancer patients, will reside both at Google Genomics and in Amazon’s data centers.

The idea is to create “cancer genome clouds” where scientists can share information and quickly run virtual experiments as easily as a Web search, says Sheila Reynolds, a research scientist at the Institute for Systems Biology in Seattle. “Not everyone has the ability to download a petabyte of data, or has the computing power to work on it,” she says.

Also speeding the move of DNA data to the cloud has been a yearlong price war between Google and Amazon. Google says it now charges about $25 a year to store a genome, and more to do computations on it. Scientific raw data representing a single person’s genome is about 100 gigabytes in size, although a polished version of a person’s genetic code is far smaller, less than a gigabyte. That would cost only $0.25 cents a year.


The bigger point, he says, is that medicine will soon rely on a kind of global Internet-of-DNA which doctors will be able to search. “Our bird’s eye view is that if I were to get lung cancer in the future, doctors are going to sequence my genome and my tumor’s genome, and then query them against a database of 50 million other genomes,” he says. “The result will be ‘Hey, here’s the drug that will work best for you.’ ”


At Google, Glazer says he began working on Google Genomics as it became clear that biology was going to move from “artisanal to factory-scale data production.” He started by teaching himself genetics, taking an online class, Introduction to Biology, taught by Broad’s chief, Eric Lander. He also got his genome sequenced and put it on Google’s cloud.

Glazer wouldn’t say how large Google Genomics is or how many customers it has now, but at least 3,500 genomes from public projects are already stored on Google’s servers. He also says there’s no link, as of yet, between Google’s cloud and its more speculative efforts in health care, like the company Google started this year, called Calico, to investigate how to extend human lifespans. “What connects them is just a growing realization that technology can advance the state of the art in life sciences,” says Glazer.

Datta says some Stanford scientists have started using a Google database system, BigQuery, that Glazer’s team made compatible with genome data. It was developed to analyze large databases of spam, web documents, or of consumer purchases. But it can also quickly perform the very large experiments comparing thousands, or tens of thousands, of people’s genomes that researchers want to try. “Sometimes they want to do crazy things, and you need scale to do that,” says Datta. “It can handle the scale genetics can bring, so it’s the right technology for a new problem.”

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After ‘Jeopardy’ Win, IBM’s Watson Now Helping Fight Cancer

Scott Spangler, principal data scientist, IBM Watson Innovations, demonstrates how IBM Watson cognitive technology can now visually display connections in scientific literature and drug information. Tanya Lewis, LiveScience nbcnews.com Watch ...

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The X-Conference: Beyond Top Secret – Timothy Good LIVE

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Having conducted worldwide research, interviewed key witnesses and discussed the subject with astronauts, military and intelligence specialists, pilots, politicians and scientists, Timothy Good has established himself as a leadin...

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Patterson Power Cell

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The reason that I am interested in this technology is because, not only is it an overunity energy device, but it also happens to reduce radioactivity significantly. And this device is surprisingly simple!

Please note there is the...

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Stan Deyo – Anti-Gravity, Free Energy and the Technology of the New World Order

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Stan Deyo - highly articulated and detailed - has held Above Top Secret Security Clearance and worked undercover for the FBI. He was part of an exclusive "black project", headed by Dr. Edward Teller specializing in the ...

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Total Relaxation Achieved

This morning, I woke up with enough inspiration to add seven pages to my novel in less than an hour, and the exercise has maneuvered me in a state where you guys and gals get the short end of the stick: I'm leaving website update to my other team members today, and will enjoy this day in total relaxation. As a bandaid, here are the pages I added today:

Thursday, October 30th, 2003, 20:21

Somebody lied to me today, but both he and I Know it: Henk told me today his Thursday meetings are going to end, so I won't be able to continue visiting his psychic hour.

 

In case you hadn't guessed, Henk is a psychic. He is the guy who helped me realize about the vow I'd made at age eight, to figure out the Cosmos, and tell everyone who will hear about it. I'm glad he did, especially from the viewpoint of where I am now, finishing the novel that will be the culmination of this life's work.

Henk magically appeared as a friend of a friend of a colleague of my wife, in a moment where I desperately needed him. The first night he told me my soul was aligned someway half outside my body, but he wouldn't fix it. Instead, he had me fix it myself! Make-belief, hypnosis, name it what you want, but that night I felt better than I had in years!

Henk held what he called his Thursday meetings, and invited me to come. No entrance fees or anything, although some of us sometimes brought cookies to go with the ever abundant coffee. When one day I offered him fifty euros for his services, he looked at me and merely asked: “Why are you doing this?” in a non-incriminating manner.

Lying on the table, Henk taught me to recognize the flow of energy throughout my body, and he kept trying to teach me to breathe properly. In that, he seemed not to succeed, or did he: I've always been a shallow on-demand breather. Just couldn't stick to his program of deep, belly-based breathing.

And he asked me to write. Write manually, while in fact I dislike my own handwriting. I did it, but for serious writing like this novel I still stick to hammering it out on the keyboard. Maybe my disregard for his lessons is what eventually got him to call it “Class Dismissed!”, but I don't think so.....

One last experiment I remember around that time happened around that time, was an outing to the local kids farm with my family. I was very occupied with my being, and while the kids played, I was sitting on a bench in the Sun. A fly came up to me, and landed on my right leg, just above the knee. I figured, if my vibration was OK, I'd be able to approach it sincerely, without disturbing it.

I moved my left hand, index finger outstretched, to the vicinity of it's bulging faceted eyes, quite slowly. Do you know how hard it is to approach a common housefly from the front, to within one millimeter of it's head? I did succeed however, and we sat there for seconds, face to 'face'.

Finally, I broke the magic by becoming greedy, and carefully nudged its head. The fly got up, and landed just out of range of my hand, as if to say: “OK, I know your boundaries now....”

When I later told Henk about it, he applauded me for having made so much progress. And when he stopped seeing me on Thursdays, he offered his help for anything I might require later on. Well Henk, I'd love to send you this manuscript, but by now I think you will somehow magically get your hands on it when the time comes....

 

Saturday, April 17th, 2010, 04:42

Today I am somewhat in conflict, but in a good way. I'm going to break my word in a manner of speaking, but only because I know Jolene will forgive me, in a way will even silently applaud me for it!

Just like I Knew Henk, the psychic that helped me at age 35 to remember my vow at age eight, was lying when he told me his Thursday meetings were ending, I just Know Jolene meant just about the complete opposite of what she told me: she asked me not to tell anyone about her life, but I'm sure she'll absolutely not mind that I tell this story anyway, with the proper precautions to achieve what the business end of the world would call 'Plausable Denyability', or in other words, a bit of white lying magic to protect the innocent.

I met Jolene on the train the other day, quite by incident, and very nicely. Somehow, I felt very, very connected to her, even though she turned out to be a person who had an uncanny ability to tell me exactly what kind of a person I am! Or maybe just because of that, because with her, my Know-indicator was on the blink.

But despite the obvious connect, she kept her distance. We did exchange addresses, and over the next few weeks, she phoned me a couple of times, just to hear about how I was doing, and what was up in my life. Jolene felt very awesome, kinda like Selina, even though with her there was this barrier, which both of us kept intact: externally, she was the kind of person I'm not really attracted to, which was aggravated by the fact she tried convince me that our relationship was purely business (which is kind of a dirty word to me).

She claimed she needed help with her computer, and one day, I was invited to provide said help. I traveled there at the appointed hour, and walked the last few hundred meters from the bus to her home, or at least the address she gave me. It was in a well to do neighborhood, all privately owned homes. I rang the bell, and was invited in, only to find myself in a pigsty! I mean, she'd warned me her place was a mess, but I figured it to be like mine sometimes is, for lack of futuristic domestic droids. This however looked far worse, and my first instinct, which I immediately followed, was to offer her to help clean things up a bit. She wouldn't hear of it however, claiming she'd gotten me in there to help her along where the computer was concerned.

So I sat down, amidst a flurry of newspaper clippings, partially opened mail, and other 'messy' things. Nothing really gross, just this consistent wrapping of disorder that I could easily ignore in order to get my work done. She wanted a general cleanup of her computer, like I've done dozens of times for myself and others. Defrag, cleanup, remove unused software, install basic stuff needed to do proper work, you know the drill. So did I, or so I thought...

I'd seen she used Outlook for her mail, but also observed that her Word and Excel where complaining about needing an installer CD to be usable. I usually resort to public domain software wherever possible, and so gave her the option of having OpenOffice installed, instead of those office applications. She agreed, not realising like I should have, that her Outlook was part of the Microsoft Office I was aiming to replace. We chatted on, while she made us something to eat in a kitchen that to me would have been barely unacceptable as starting point for cooking activities.

It was a home-brewn soup, as she called it, quite tasty, but too many unknown ingredients to be on my list of favorite dishes. I somewhat too ardently refused seconds, but we parted as friends. Then, after I'd gotten home, she called that her E-mail no longer worked. Realizing my colossal blunder I gladly took the blame, but was relieved she didn't expect me to get back on the train right that instance. I did offer to attempt a rescue using TeamViewer, so I could take over her system from home, but being a self-proclaimed digifobe, she declined that. She did get another friend to call me later, to dissolve the matter via phone.

But then there's the little incongruities that trigger you to the weirdness of the situation: though Jolene claimed she was afraid of computers, I counted no less than three systems in her home: the computer I needed to work on, an IBM Thinkpad carelessly lying around, and a Compaq DeskPro system in one of the bedrooms. Add to that the question she'd asked me about purchasing Val's old laptop, and I guessed myself in the twilight zone.

Speaking of zones: even though she and I were in the zone constantly, I was very near the edge of my comfort zone while in that place. To me, a home needs to be somewhat cleaner to be comfortable, but it was Jolene's home, so I kept abiding by her will, and tried not to disturb the flurry of newspaper clippings that so cozily surrounded me.

Yesterday, I mailed her to inquire if her friend's rescue operation had succeeded. I got back a mail, so it obviously had: she said she wasn't angry or disappointed, but told me not to mail, phone, or try to contact her otherwise.

Now I could mourn the loss of a friend, but this sounded way more like: “School's over, class dismissed!”

Final sync: I just found out Rush are on their “Time Machine Tour”! How very syncy that they are mentioned in various places in this Now Time Tale......

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